CAPE VINCENT – Some town residents are questioning whether all the questions in a poll gauging support for wind energy conducted by IBOPE Zogby International, Utica, were even-handed, but a Zogby representative defended his organization’s work.
“We think there is some misinformation put in for the poll,” Gary J. King, town resident and member of Voters for Wind, said. “There are five questions that the 28 of us thought were not appropriate. But even still, it proved there are more people for wind than against wind.”
The poll, conducted in the second week of May, found that 47 percent supported industrial wind turbine projects in the town, while 41 percent opposed them.
One question he cited asked respondents what effects they thought wind turbines near the river would have on tourism.
“What is ‘near?'” he asked. “There’s no definition.”
“We could go in feet or acres or miles,” Chad Bonham, of Zogby, said. “But we are going to let the respondents make the decision of what that means to them.”
The question did not confuse the 300 respondents, he said, because only 4 percent said they were not sure about an effect.
“Did you groom or did the council write the questions?” Mr. King asked.
“Our analysts always groom the questions,” Mr. Bonham said.
Questions are approved by the client before the survey begins.
“Any public opinion survey is a snapshot in time,” Mr. Bonham said. “The poll shows that your community is split on this issue almost 50-50.”
Clifford J. Schneider asked why the results weren’t broken down by those who are year-round those who are seasonal residents in the summary provided. Of the respondents, 63 percent were seasonal, reflecting the proportion in the town as a whole.
“By and large, the difference in responses was not significant,” Mr. Bonham said.
In other business, the council approved giving $2,000 to support the planning for the Club Street revitalization.
The town’s contribution will go toward the $20,000 local match for a $20,000 state Department of State grant to plan the project.
The village, Cape Vincent Improvement League, Cape Vincent Local Development Corp. and property owners are also contributing to the process, said Kristine M. Kennedy, president of the improvement league.
“There will be improvements to the docks, waterfront and traffic flow,” she said. “It’s a pretty exciting project.”
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